May 28, 2019  

How To Paint A Room Quickly (Our Living Room Got A Facelift!)

I figured out how to paint a room quickly thanks to two helpful painting tools. I recently had the chance to try out the Wagner Smart Roller and Smart Edger in our living room and they saved me so much time!


A huge thanks to Wagner for sponsoring this post. All content and opinions are 100% my own! See my disclosure policy for details. 


Our living room got a facelift! I’ve wanted to paint over the dark yellowish-tan walls ever since moving day 18 months ago. And I am SO GLAD I finally made it happen. 

My goals for painting our living room were to a) choose a paint color that makes the room lighter and fresher feeling, and b) spend as little time as possible on this project. 

Since I was painting a larger room (and I started going to a boot camp gym that leaves my arms feeling like Jello), I knew it was worth researching some tools designed to make my painting job a little easier.

My friends Amanda (Love & Renovations) and Meg (Green With Decor) are always talking about painting tools they use to save time. So I looked into tools made by Wagner, a company that Amanda and Meg both recommend, and picked out two cool painting tools from their assortment of paint rollers, sprayers, heat guns, and surface prep tools.



Tips To Paint A Room Fast

Our living room feels so bright and fresh after a new coat of paint. I chose a very light greige paint color (Classic by Clare) and it feels like this room lost a few pounds after painting over those dark, yellowish-tan walls. 

Since I was painting our main living space and have an active dog and toddler running around, I wanted to find a way to paint the entire room in as little time as possible so I wouldn’t disrupt this room for too long. I also wanted to keep the mess of paint and tools to a minimum in hopes of preventing tiny feet and paws from finding their way into wet paint. 

I’m happy to report that I found two tools that are definite time savers. And we avoided wet footprints and paw prints on the carpet! (Although karma kicked in and I myself was responsible for a couple of paint spills…)

Let me introduce you to my two trusty new painting tools: the Wagner SMART Edge Roller and SMART RollerThis dynamic duo of nifty paint rollers helped me get professional results in less time with less mess (just ignore the fact that I’m clumsy and had to clean up a few paint spills that were totally my fault, not the paint rollers). 


Wagner Smart edge Roller Review

When you begin painting a room, the first order of business is painting around all of the edges (also called “cutting in”). I’ve always done this with a simple paintbrush and a slow, steady hand. It’s pretty tedious and if your hand isn’t as steady, you need to take the extra step of using painter’s tape before you cut in around the edges. Have you ever used painter’s tape? It can be helpful but man is it time-consuming to tape everything!

With two big walls that needed edging around the baseboards and ceiling plus the need to get a nice straight edge around our pretty built-ins, painting everything the old-fashioned way was a little daunting. 

And that’s where the Wagner SMART Edge Roller comes in. 


The SMART Edge Roller‘s design has a shield on one end of the roller that results in precise, clean lines while keeping paint away from your trim and ceiling. No painter’s tape required (that’s a huge time saver!). 

Its integrated paint holder means you can load a lot of paint into the tool itself. That means you can paint a room quickly since you’re not having to do the usual back and forth to the paint can for refills all of the time.

This slick tool is going to get a ton of use in future painting projects. It is easy to use, creates crisp edges, and saves time. All of my fellow trim painters need this–you’ll be seriously impressed with how fast you can whiz around all of the edges with this edge roller!


How does the Wagner SMART Edge Roller work?

Once it’s filled with paint, pump the trigger a few times to get the paint flowing onto the roller. Roll it back and forth in the middle of the wall a few times until the roller is fully loaded with paint. 

Roll the SMART Edge Roller right alongside your trim, baseboards or ceiling. Make sure the yellow shield is on the outer edge and you are rolling parallel to the trim. 

Move your roller back and forth to get full coverage as you work your way along the entire edge.

With this tool, you will fly through edging your room. You will need to use a paintbrush to touch up some of the corners where the SMART Edge Roller can’t quite fit but it’s a small fraction of the time I’m used to spending cutting in everything with a brush. You’ll have your room all edged before you know it! 

How does the SMART Edge Roller make such precise lines?

The yellow shield protects your trim from the edge of your paint roller. Make sure the outside of that shield stays free of wet paint and it will do the rest!

I’ve tried similar products before and the paint always seemed to seep to the outside of the edge shield, but that was not the case with the SMART Edge Roller. Every once in a while I would wipe the outside of the shield with a paper towel to clean it of any paint that did happen to find it’s the way there, usually the result of me bumping it into wet paint). 

There are also three little brushes between the shield and the roller that help create a sharp line of paint. As long as you hold this tool steady, apply even pressure, and work parallel to your trim, you really can’t mess it up! And if you slip and get some paint on your trim, a wet paper towel will clean small goofs right up. 


How do you fill the Wagner SMART Edge Roller?

Stir your paint well and then attach the plastic fill tube to the SMART Edge Roller(the fill tube attaches in place of the roller attachment). 

The fill tube has a hook that will hook onto the side of your paint can while you dip the end into the paint. Pull back on the handle until the tube is full of paint. 

Remove the fill tube and leave it hooked to the edge of your paint can while you work. Reattach the roller and start painting! 


How do you clean the SMART Edge Roller?

The entire tool and roller can be cleaned with warm water. I used the fill attachment to run water in and out of the paint tube, then switched to the roller attachment and pushed water out through the roller to flush out all of the paint. 

Take all of the pieces apart so you can clean them thoroughly with water. I will suggest buying a new roller cover for every project rather than trying to clean and reuse them. It’s just so hard to clean them properly so I think it’s easier to buy new since they’re very inexpensive anyway. 

Wagner Smart Roller Review

Once you’ve finished painting all of the edges, it’s time to roll paint on the walls!

I would have normally been dragging a paint tray along with me as I maneuvered around furniture and worked my way around the room. This can be annoying and I’m prone to spills so I try not to move the paint tray too often. 

Wagner’s SMART Roller solves the problem of carrying the messy paint tray alongside you. With its built-in paint tube, you can load up on paint and cover a lot of surface area before needing a refill. I didn’t realize how much time I spend running back and forth to the paint tray until I used the SMART Roller in our living room the other day.


This roller would be especially useful if your painting project involves climbing up and down ladders–you can roll the high parts without having to balance your paint tray on the ladder or make a zillion trips up and down to the paint tray on the floor. 

How does the Wagner SMART Roller work?

Once the SMART Roller is loaded with paint, pump the trigger a few times until the paint starts flowing. The roller cover has holes on the inside where the paint flows out from the roller arm into the roller cover itself. Roll it up and down on the wall until the roller cover is evenly coated with paint.

You use this roller just like a traditional paint roller only you have far fewer trips back to the paint tray for refills (hallelujah). Simply roll paint on the wall in overlapping W’s, evenly coating the walls one section at a time. The paint reservoir holds enough paint to last up to 70 square feet in one fill!

With the long handle of the SMART Roller, I didn’t need a ladder at all for our 8-foot ceilings which is pretty rare for this barely-five-foot girl ;). 


How do you fill the SMART Roller?

To load paint into the SMART Roller, attach the plastic fill tube to the roller and lower it down into your can of paint. The fill tube has a little hook to attach to the edge of your paint can. 

With the fill tube immersed in paint, slowly pull back on the handle. You’ll see the tube filling with paint as you pull back. Take care to pull evenly and keep the fill tube fully immersed in the paint can to avoid air pockets getting into your paint tube. The air is nothing to worry about, it just means you will have a little less space for paint. 

The fill tube can stay hooked on the side of your paint can while you work so it’s ready for the next refill. 


How do you clean the SMART Roller?

I was pretty nervous about cleaning this big thing. It’s a big gadget full of paint, after all! But there really was no need to worry because this paint roller is pretty easy to clean.

When you are finished painting, go ahead and attach the fill tube again and push any remaining paint out of the SMART Roller and back into your paint can. Then all you need to do is rinse the tool with water!

To clean, operate the tool just like you did to fill it with paint only fill it with water instead. push the water out through the roller end to flush out any remaining paint. Then disassemble the pieces and wash them all thoroughly. 

I would recommend cleaning the SMART Roller outside with a hose if possible or else utilize a utility sink if you have one. Neither was an option for me so I cleaned mine out in the kitchen sink as I do all painting supplies. The paint is water-based so any drips clean right up with a paper towel, but it would still be better to avoid the mess by washing everything outside if you can.

And as I mentioned with the SMART Edge Roller, I think it’s well worth it to buy a fresh new roller cover for every project instead of trying to clean and reuse them. Roller covers are very inexpensive and I always factor them into my project budgets as disposable supplies.


Living Room Refresh Before & After

The photo above gives you a great look at how bright and fresh the new paint color looks compared to the old tan color. They’re both neutrals, but the new paint color is quite a bit lighter and doesn’t have those awful yellow undertones.

BEFORE (dark tan walls):


AFTER (pretty white walls!):



I’m really excited to have our living room painting done! There’s a lot more I plan to do in here someday, such as staining the built-ins a different color, switching out the baseboards for chunkier white ones, and bringing in some new furniture.

My eventual to-do list for this room is a mile long, but for now, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the pretty new wall color. Using quality painting tools, getting a sharp edge along all of the trim, and choosing a great paint color truly makes this room look like it was professionally painted.

If you have a painting project on the horizon, definitely check out Wagner’s time-saving painting tools, including their SMART Roller and SMART Edge Roller. They will make your life a lot easier and help you get to that satisfying after picture so much faster.

Have a great day!

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a mom juggling two young kids and being a working mom with a corporate job. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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  1. What a big difference!!! We just painted our new homes walls bright white, too. I’ll keep the tools in mind for next rooms that we’ll DIY!

    1. Paint makes such a huge difference! I’m glad you were able to paint your new home right away! Good luck with unpacking!

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